ON-Lion Letter

In February, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduced his 2015-17 state budget.  The budget proposal calls for the elimination of the cap on the statewide Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.
"We thank Governor Walker for opening new educational opportunities for parents and students across Wisconsin," said School Choice Wisconsin (SCW) president Jim Bender.  "We know from traveling the state that demand for the program is very high, and growing every day."

"We were hoping for this," Hispanics for School Choice (HFSC) outreach director Tammy Olivas told the Wisconsin Reporter.  "We truly believe that the parent knows best for their children.  If the parents are willing to drive to three different schools for their children, it is because they realize their children have different needs."

Bender expressed caution about a new funding mechanism, however, that has been proposed for the statewide choice program and one in Racine.  "We are still researching the specifics of the plan but note that the new voucher amounts could be problematic, as they may be lower than current law," according to Bender.  "Current students will have funding maintained.

"With funding levels already significantly below those of public schools, a further decrease for new students makes funding a barrier to providing quality options," Bender continued.  "While creating new opportunities for parents, we need to ensure that schools have the stability in funding to budget for student success."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports SCW, HFSC, and the Wisconsin Reporter.

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